Sunday, September 20, 2020

Local News

Old Saybrook BOE to Pilot Early Childhood Program Expansion in 2020-’21

At its Jan. 14 meeting, the Old Saybrook Board of Education (BOE) voted to pilot the first year of a possible three-year Early Childhood Program expansion. The Early Childhood Program is available to qualifying three- and four-year-old students and serves as a publicly available pre-school program for all Old Saybrook residents.

The proposed expansion will include lower student tuition for peers and add approximately 10 new seats to the currently existing program, while adding one additional pre-school section at Kathleen E. Goodwin Elementary. Tuition for the program was set by the BOE at $3,450 for the 2020-’21 academic year, which is decreased from the current tuition rate of $4,440 for the 2019-’20 academic year.

As described by Director of Pupil and Professional Services Kathy Bai, “A typical day involves indoor and outdoor play, small- and whole-group instruction, center-time, snack, lunch, and nap. In this setting, young children learn from each other in a comprehensive program that addresses the unique needs of the special education students and celebrates the growth and development of all students.”

The child-centered curriculum includes participation in all of Goodwin’s specials such as physical education, music, library, art, and technology as well as schoolwide cultural arts activities. All early childhood classrooms are staffed by certified teachers, para-educators, and speech, occupational, and physical therapists. Goodwin’s school psychologist, counselor, and social worker are also available for students and their families.

The Early Childhood Program expansion aims at providing pre-school for more four-year old children in Old Saybrook at low or no cost to families through a phased-in program over three years. While the BOE has not yet committed to the second and third year of the proposed expansion, the proposal received unanimous support to begin the first year of the proposal as a pilot, after which time, the program will be re-evaluated for viability in years two and three.

To sign up for the Old Saybrook Early Childhood Program or to learn more about program eligibility, contact Lara Stack at 860-395-3165.

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